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Notts County board vote against fans in voting for Checkatrade Trophy B Teams

Alan Hardy and the board at Notts County have voted against fans and adds to the trend of owners ignoring fans after voting in favour of Checkatrade Trophy B teams, despite Notts County fans significantly voting against it.

In early April, Notts County’s SLO team sent out a survey which received 600 responses, and the purpose of the survey was to collect feedback for the English Football League on the future of the EFL (Checkatrade) trophy, this feedback would specifically represent Notts County fans and their views on the competition.

The survey found the following feedback, and the club said it would pass the feedback onto the EFL:

  • Just under 45% of surveyed supporters would like to see the competition abandoned altogether from 2017-18
  • 27.5% would like to see the format of the competition revert back to involving League One and League Two only
  • 22% of supporters elected to change the format to include clubs from League One, League Two and the National League
  • 5.5% of those surveyed were split between leaving the format of the competition as it is with no changes, or making the sole change of allowing League One and League Two clubs to field any team they wish


The results of the survey clearly show that only 5.5% of the supporters supported the current ‘B teams’ or academy teams competing in the competition. Whereas, an overwhelming 94.5% of fans were against the current setup of the EFL trophy including the use of ‘B teams’ in the competition.

Dougie Pullen, an SLO team member said after conducting the survey: “The results of the survey have been shared with the EFL and I hope the views expressed by our fans will be taken into consideration as plans are made for the future of this competition.”

Unfortunately, it seems that Pullen should have stated that he hopes Hardy and the executive management would be taking into consideration the fans views when voting, because, on Tuesday morning, Notts County announced that Alan Hardy and his club had voted against the fans and their wishes, in favour of the ‘B teams’ and academy teams approach to the competition, essentially the current structure which is already in place despite the criticism of the competition.

Speaking to the club’s official site, Alan Hardy had the following to say.

“From both a competitive and financial point of view I am confident we have voted in the best interests of the club. The prize money on offer is vastly increased, presenting us with an opportunity to generate significant revenue to help us move the club forward.”

While the majority of fans did vote in favour of the competition, they clearly voted against the use of academy teams being involved. However, Hardy fails to mention that.

“The results of our survey showed the majority of Notts fans see a future for this competition and, in light of the amendments proposed by the EFL, we believe we have opted for the best way forwards.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank supports who took the time to give us their views. Our chief executive, Jason Turner, has passed on their feedback at EFL meetings.

“We look forward to learning the result of the vote and giving the competition our best shot next season.”

Alan Hardy and the board’s actions add to the neverending list of ownership decisions which do not take into consideration fans and their views. The lifeblood of clubs is becoming irrelevant in the eyes of football executives it seems.
Hardy took to Twitter after receiving a wide array of criticism and went further to say that the club voted in favour of the B teams or academy teams being included for the prospect of the £20,000 win bonus.

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